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Intrapleural therapy.

Author(s): Huggins JT, Doelken P, Sahn SA

Affiliation(s): Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Sleep Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA. hugginjt@musc.edu

Publication date & source: 2011-08, Respirology., 16(6):891-9.

Numerous intrapleural therapies have been adopted to treat a vast array of pleural diseases. The first intrapleural therapies proposed focused on the use of fibrinolytics and DNase to promote fluid drainage in empyema. Numerous case series and five randomized controlled trials have been published to determine the outcomes of fibrinolytics in empyema treatment. In the largest randomized trial, the use of streptokinase had no reduction in mortality, decortication rates or hospital days compared with placebo in the treatment of empyema. Criticism over study design and patient selection may have potentially affected the outcomes in this study. The development of dyspnoea is common in the setting of malignant pleural effusions. Pleural fluid evacuation followed by pleurodesis is often attempted. Numerous sclerosing agents have been studied, with talc emerging as the most effective agent. Small particle size of talc should be avoided because of increased systemic absorption potentiating toxicity, such as acute lung injury. Over the past several years, the use of chronic indwelling pleural catheters have emerged as the preferred modality in the treating a symptomatic malignant pleural effusion. For patients with malignant-related lung entrapment, pleurodesis often fails due to the presence of visceral pleural restriction; however, chronic indwelling pleural catheters are effective in palliation of dyspnoea. Finally, the use of staphylococcal superantigens has been proposed as a therapeutic model for the treatment of non-small lung cancer. Intrapleural instillation of staphylococcal superantigens increased median survival by 5 months in patients with non-small cell lung cancer with a malignant pleural effusion. (c) 2011 The Authors. Respirology (c) 2011 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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